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Poverty Trauma, Institutional Trauma, and more.

I’ve needed to add more to that trauma list of experiences as I’ve receiving even more input from the healing IG community.

Please remember that there are so many other experiences, that fall in these categories, that are similar/different from person to person—but understanding the overall dynamics are important. 

Poverty Trauma: The affects of living in poverty can be painful. Not only are there less access to resources, more violence due to this scarcity, it is living in a constant state of sympathetic nervous system activation due to needing to fight/flight, dissociate to various degrees everyday. It is going hungry at times, being homeless, living with the uncertainty of what will follow. The instability can feel like you’ve never landed…..for people who have also experienced migration trauma—this poverty trauma is what leads people to choose to leave their own homes to another possibility. This is the trauma that precedes the pre-migration and post migration traumas. These traumas can very much affect the way caregivers connect to their children in dysregulated states, which is how attachment trauma is born and how intergenerational trauma is perpetuated. All are connected.

Institutional Trauma: Institutions can be schools, the prison system, government—structural bodies that cause trauma to children and adults. There are disparities in how BIPOC are treated, taught, and aided (on micro and macro levels—think gentrification, think Flint, think Hurricane Maria, think DAPL). Where people are forgotten, criminalized, and given less resources. This trauma sends a loud message to your spirit- you are bad, you are unworthy, you are small. It breaks my heart writing this and worrying about how much children hear these messages by a world that is supposed to love and build them up.

Workplace Trauma: This can be bullying at work-verbal and emotional abuse, sexual harassment, or experiences that make you immobilized and helpless by colleagues or higher management and where you feel you are denied the space to have a voice.

Financial Trauma: I think part of this can be tied to workplace trauma. Part of this can also be tied to being in a relationship where you’re denied access to funds or you are being exploited for your funds (victims of economic abuse). Financial trauma can also be related to race based trauma and discriminatory trauma. Financial trauma can also be understood as an abrupt loss to financial stability- i.e of loss of job, loss of home. Poverty trauma can also be linked to financial trauma—if you find that money is a trigger to overspending or feeling afraid to ask for money, asking for a living wage. Money becomes a proxy/trigger for how you define self-worth.

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